Intel linked to Google China hack

Chip behemoth Intel has admitted that it was the subject of an online security attack at around the same time as the infamous Google China hack, but is remaining vague about any connection between the two occurrences.

The company said in a Securities Exchange Commission filing that it has been hit by a "sophisticated cyber attack" in January, the same time as the Google Mail accounts of a number of Chinese dissidents were broken into.

"These attempts, which might be the result of industrial or other espionage, or actions by hackers seeking to harm the company, its products, or end users, are sometimes successful. One recent and sophisticated incident occurred in January 2010 around the same time as the recently publicised security incident reported by Google," the filing said.

"The only connection between what we saw in January and the attacks on Google is timing," an Intel spokesman said, but added, "Based on further research, we can’t rule out that there may be other similarities between the Google and Intel attacks."

The attack on Google, which prompted the company to threaten to withdraw from China, has been blamed on the Chinese government causing a huge diplomatic row.